for the Interislander Ferries
are only two ways to get between New Zealand's main islands and
they are to either fly, or take one of the Cook Strait ferries.
our recent visit down to the Marlborough region at the top of the
South Island we made the southbound trip on the Kaitaki - the biggest
vessel in the ferry fleet and one that can take 1600 passengers
- then returned on the Arahura (1000 passengers).
third vessel is the smaller Aratere (350 passengers).
journeys were excellent, which was a relief because sometimes the
weather can make the passage quite rough.
it has to be said the three-hour or so cruise is superb on a nice
get an excellent view of Wellington and its lovely harbour and then
the treat of wending your way down through the beautiful Marlborough
Sounds to the picturesque port of Picton.
Sounds are gorgeous and there are times it seems you need to fight
your way through the picture takers to get your own photos!
on and off the ferries is a breeze as they have the operation down
to a fine art.
get to Wellington port's Aotea Quay about an hour before departure
time, line up in queues - seemingly on size of your vehicle and
its required turning space - and then you wait to be ushered on
ferries leave Wellington at 8.25am, 10.35am (from 1 November to
31 March), 1.50pm and 6.15pm.
are plenty of crew around to make sure you get things right and
there are announcements about putting your vehicle in gear and putting
the handbrake on.
of which you must remember as to be called down to the car deck
over the loudspeaker system would be embarrassing.
it's off up a flight of stairs and into the very comfortable interior
of the ships.
are restaurants and eateries galore, places to watch TV, to play
video games - even a picture theatre with the latest movie playing.
ferries have plenty of comfortable seats and tables at which to
play cards, or do crosswords.
it has to be said that in spite of all on offer it is a good idea
to take along reading material and games for the kids.
kicked myself that I didn't take my laptop with me.
off the vessels is again really easy and takes place within minutes.
It really couldn't be a simpler system.
the Interislander ferries is a terrific adventure for kids and adults
easier and it is a fantastic way to see the Marlborough Sounds.
to Do in Wellington
to Stay in Wellington
What's on in Wellington
Where to Stay in Picton
What's on in Picton